Lakers Sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

July 13: The signing is official, according to the team’s website.

July 11: The Lakers have reached an agreement to sign free agent shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Windhorst reports that Caldwell-Pope will receive a one-year, $18MM deal from the club.Kentavious CaldwellPope vertical

[RELATED: 2017 NBA Free Agent Tracker]

It has been an unusual offseason for Caldwell-Pope, who entered the summer with aspirations of a long-term maximum salary contract, or at least something close to it. However, after they signed Langston Galloway and traded for Avery Bradley, the Pistons determined that Caldwell-Pope was no longer in their future plans, identifying Bradley as the franchise’s shooting guard of the future instead.

A report last week suggested that the Pistons were at one point willing to go up to $80MM over five years for Caldwell-Pope, which “wasn’t even close” to what he was seeking. Unable to find common ground with KCP, Detroit renounced his rights, putting the Lakers in play as a potential suitor. Los Angeles has been unwilling to offer more than one-year contracts this month, and while that wouldn’t have been enough to pry Caldwell-Pope away as a restricted free agent, he was apparently willing to settle for a one-year “balloon” deal as a UFA.

By accepting a one-year contract with the Lakers, Caldwell-Pope should have the opportunity to take on a key scoring role with the team in 2017/18, and will set himself up for a return to unrestricted free agency a year from now.

Although the Georgia native has shown promise as a two-way wing, his production hasn’t really increased since 2014/15. Last season, he averaged a modest 13.8 PPG and 3.3 RPG, with a .399/.350/.832 shooting line. At age 24, he’s a very solid defender, and if he can show an improved offensive game, he’d be in position for a much bigger payday in 2018.

As for the Lakers, they’ll add a promising young wing on something of a trial basis, maintaining their cap flexibility for next summer, when stars like LeBron James, Paul George, and others will reach free agency. While the Lakers figure to prioritize those All-Star free agents, Caldwell-Pope could be a nice Plan B for the team if he plays well in his first season in L.A.

The Lakers entered the day with about $17MM in cap room, so based on the terms of Caldwell-Pope’s deal, it’s possible the club will waive David Nwaba – who has a non-guaranteed contract – or another player to create a little more space. There has been no indication yet of a corresponding roster move, however.

Once they make the Caldwell-Pope signing official, the Lakers will have their $4.3MM room exception available for free agents. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link), the team is still trying to land Rajon Rondo, though it’s not clear if that room exception would be enough for the veteran point guard.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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41 thoughts on “Lakers Sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

  1. Thronson5

    Love it! And they can still sign Rondo to a on year deal if the chose to. It’s sad for Clarkson because I know he wants to start but he proved he valuable off the bench once Williams was gone and Pope will run the floor with Ball plus gives us defense. I love this signing. Makes me feel better about this offseason. The fact we got rid of Mozgov and that contract was a huge win then we had a great draft and now we sign Pope to a one year deal and probably will get Rondo. Not sure how anyone can think we didn’t have a good off season. Next off season will be even better when they shed that Deng contract and go after two max players to mix in with the young kids.

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    • how are they going to shed the Deng Contract? 2 years left not one, sorry to tell ya. Maybe if they attached a 1st round pick someone would bite. They also should be trying desperately to unload Clarkson, even if they get nothing back in return.

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      • Thronson5

        Sorry to tell you, I’m not stupid and I know he has two year left after this year but they have already said they will either trade him or stretch his contract. That’s how they will get rid of it. Listen to the gm talk, he said they will have money for two max contexts next year. He plans on getting rid of Dengs contract one way or another ans they sill. I do agree with you about Clarkson, I like the guy but if they actually package him along with Deng and a future first round pick they’d really shed some money and in all honesty isopod that care if they got nothing in return. Or even just Clarkson to shed that contract and stretch Dengs contract.

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        • didn’t mean to come across as condescending. I was genuinely worried that I might be the bearer of bad news lol

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          • Thronson5

            Lol no worries man. But yea I did know that. I do agree with you about Carlson though. If they can either package him with Deng and a pick of just him and a pick or even just himself and then turn around and stretch Deng they’d save a lot of money. But I do know either way they’ll get rid of Dengs contract bt either stretching it trading it away so they’ll have some money next year to work with. I wonder if adenf bounces back this year and then someone at the trade deadline takes him. If I was the Lakers I’d try to trade Deng and or Clarkson st the deadline when teams are desperate to upgrade before the playoffs.

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            • I think Lopez could be a solid trade chip as well. I’m thinking Lopez to Bucks for the expiring Monroe and Hawes contracts plus a first rounder.

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              • Thronson5

                Yea that might work. But isn’t Lopez expiring after this season already? I thought that’s what I read but I could be wrong so that’s why I’m asking. But I guess if Lopez contract is expiring and so is Monroe but we still get a pick out of it then I’d make the deal.

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                • Yeah they are all expiring. They only point would be to get Bucks a better C for a playoff run. I know they’d ultimately be up against Lebron, but for a franchise like theirs just making the eastern finals would be huge. Plus they could then go over the cap to bring back Lopez. I don’t like the idea of Lakers holding on to Lopez and resigning him, even as a plan C. He’s too old to fit with the Laker’s young core.

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                  • Thronson5

                    Gotcha. Makes a lot of sense actually and I agree. I donlile Lopez but he doesn’t fit in their future plans. I’d rather see Zubac up his game and become honestly. Plus this isn’t much of center driven league anymore and teams are going small so even if Zubac starts it’s not like he’d play a ton of minutes.

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      • Connorsoxfan

        Deng should have some value as an expiring contract. Some team who doesn’t want to screw around with cap floor shenanigans but is rebuilding might just take him with a couple 2nd rounders.

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  2. As a partial Laker fan, I am hyped for this. They are desperate for a starting SG that can play D, and he’s a good fit on offense as well. If he can improve his shooting he could become a top 5 SG.

    IDK how likely it is that Lakers could resign him next year and still have room for two max free agents like LBJ/PG-13, but that could be a great looking team (along with Ingram/Ball).

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    • Jmpshorty

      Well here is the thing. They have about $21 million on the books next year. If they sign two max deals at $30 mil each then they are at $81… the cap is $99 no? They could easily resign both KCP and Lopez (since they are on the team now they can sign them and go over the cap). They have enough depth now that they don’t need to sign other FA next summer so they can resign their own and stay under the luxury tax!!! Huge move to get KCP and Lopez now. Very underrated moves

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      • Luke Adams

        Lakers will have about $49MM in guaranteed salary on their books for 2018/19 assuming they pick up the options on Ingram/Nance.

        Lopez’s and KCP’s cap holds will also be big ($33MM+ and $21MM+ respectively), so to have any shot at two outside max free agents, they’d probably need to renounce both Lopez and KCP, unless they could find a way to dump a lot of other salary.

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        • Jmpshorty

          Yea see is was saying 21 assuming they trade Deng! They would obviously have to package someone with him and that could be Clarkson or Randle.
          Still it’s very possibly for them to get 2 max deals and possible keep Lopez and KCP (neither will get a max though)

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          • Luke Adams

            Possible, I suppose, though it would definitely be tricky. Would also depend which players are getting the maxes (ie. LeBron’s max would be in the $35MM range, while the max for other, less-experienced players would be closer to $30MM or $25MM).

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      • You can only go over the cap to sign a player if you have their bird rights…the Lakers do not own KCP’s bird rights since he was signed and not traded.

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        • Connorsoxfan

          They’ll have early bird rights though. It’s all a moot point anyway because they will have to renounce them to fit in the max guys.

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  3. darthpaul

    This is a W for LA. Thought KCP could have gotten a lucrative multi-year deal, but apparently I was wrong.

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    • teams didn’t expect him to become available, and by the time he did, few had money left to offer him.

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      • Philly Fan

        I’m surprised Atlanta didn’t offer him 4 yrs / $60m. He’d fit right into their timeline and they have the cap space

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        • If he plays well enough this year he could earn allot more than that from someone. If he just improve his shooing numbers I could see him getting 4 years 80 pretty easily.

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    • Thronson5

      I just read they are still pushing for Rondo and a deal might get done by tomorrow.

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      • gmflores27

        Rondo is not a fit IMO. Lakers should just leave him for the Knicks

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        • Thronson5

          I disagree. On a one year deal he would be their best option for a back up PG or to fill in if Ball gets hurt.

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        • Conman

          Rondo > Ball. Not even close. Maybe not in 5 years but now…

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  4. acarneglia

    Lonzo-KCP-Ingram-Randle-Lopez with a bench of Clarkson, Zubac, Brewer, Nance Jr., etc. might be good enough for an 8 seed

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    • Connorsoxfan

      Not in the west. 6 seed in the east though lol. Kidding. Mostly.

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    • Conman

      Playoffs? Playoffs? (Jim Mora voice) The only Western Conference team they are currently better than is PHX. And that’s debatable.

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  5. Haha! In the East we would be probably 5! I’m guessing we are slightly better but not the playoffs. Magic and Rob have at least given us a path to be excited about. I don’t think the previous regime would have made moves that make sense.

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    • TrustTheProcess

      Yep but Los Angeles is on the west coast so quit whining about not being in the east

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  6. knoxchristopher79

    This is sad that Lavar Ball could be right about playoffs. The west has a lot of good teams right now but the lakers could contend for an 8 seed

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